Growing up, weekends were quite often spent swimming. My mother had an uncle with a swimming pool at his house. In those days, swimming pools in a private home was rare but my granduncle was a successful textile businessman who had a huge house. Fortunately for us, we were welcomed to use their pool any time.
Quite often, my mother would whip up her signature fried vermicelli (or bee hoon as it is known locally) to feed us. I've never not been hungry after a swimming session and I always associate this meal with those childhood memories by the pool.
The characteristic taste of this dish comes mainly from the canned stewed pork used and my family has our favourite brand. The canned pork is either stewed pork chops or stewed pork leg with mushroom and chestnut. The pork chops are healthier because the pork legs come with layers of fat.
Do not be put off by the globules of fat or the layer of oil from the canned meat. The fat can be removed for a healthier option or you can allow it to melt into the noodles when frying it up. The layer of oil can be skimmed off or used as fat to saute the vegetables.
Stewed Pork Fried Vermicelli
300-400g dried rice vermicelli or green bean thread
8-10 dried Chinese mushrooms
1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
1 1/2 cups sliced french beans or shredded cabbage
2 cans 14 oz stewed pork chops or pork leg
1 tbsp fish sauce or soy sauce
Soak the vermicelli or bean thread in water until soft then drain. Soak the mushrooms in about 1 cup of water for a couple of hours until soft then remove the stalks and slice up. Save the mushroom liquid for the noodles if it gets too dried out when frying. After opening the cans of stewed pork, spoon out the fat for frying, pour out the rest onto a shallow bowl. Remove the bones and mash up the the meat so that there are no big chunks.
In a wok or large frying pan, saute the vegetables in a bit of vegetable oil or the fat from the stewed pork. When half-cooked, add in the stewed pork and turn down the heat while mixing the ingredients together. Toss in the noodles and turn up the heat, pushing it into the sauce at the bottom of the pan to soak up the flavour as it cooks. Continue stir frying until the noodles are cooked and all the ingredients are well combined. Add in fish sauce or soy sauce to taste.
Serve with cut red chilli or pickled green chilli and dig in!
I'm also submitting this to Ruth at Once upon a Feast for the six-month anniversary or Presto Pasta Nights.